June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Educational Research and Methods
Most Bachelors of Science in engineering programs curricula have a standard that covers main engineering skills in sciences, mathematics and design. Students are prepared through a rigorous curriculum. However, Universities fail to fully prepare students for aspects of their lives beyond the academic scope. While the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) requires student training in ethics, lifelong learning, communication, and working in multidisciplinary teams, students remain insufficiently prepared with skills that help overcome many challenges they face after leaving University. University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public research university registering greater than 20,000 students. One of the colleges at the University is the College of Engineering (COE). The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) in the COE has modified its curriculum to include a course, which addresses essential life and career skills to its students in their final semester. The course addresses challenges ranging from how to deal with financial pressure, seeking career opportunities, time management, workplace etiquette, and other necessary skills. It consists of five different modules: Financial Planning, Effective Job Hunting, Accelerating Your Career, Learning Never Stops, and Entrepreneurship. Modules utilize methodologies from experiential learning theory to enhance student learning and contribute to the body of knowledge of teaching methods in STEM. An initial assessment was performed to measure the impact of this course and its modules. Metrics included the percentage of the cohort that was employed within six months of graduation versus the cohort that did not participate in the course. Additional metrics included a wide variety of surveys during and post course participation that provided qualitative insight on the courses performance. This paper illustrates the framework of the Professional Development Seminar for students of MIE at UIC. The effectiveness of this composition of modules continues to be studied. Initial results have shown evidence that participating seniors experience an increase in preparedness for post university life. The proposed framework has the potential to make an impact on any program in the United States by providing a course package that can be easily recreated. Locally, the success from this course has led to different engineering departments implementing courses into their curriculum that include one or more of our described modules.
Darabi, H., & Douzali, E., & Karim, F. S. M., & Harford, S. T., & Johnson, H. (2017, June), Life after University for Engineering Graduates Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28630
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